My motto over the last year or more has been “walking by faith.” My tendency has been to plan and think things through and analyze them to death, even to the point of questioning God is leading – the infamous “analysis paralysis.” It’s been amazing how much less trouble and stressful life is now that I walk this way. God just seems to show me the way all the time – will, not all the time.
Other than our work at the Harbor, I came here with only a general idea of what our calling was, based on the interface between my gifts, passions, experience (and Diana’s), and what I knew of where God was already moving in St. Petersburg. Now I look for relational connectivity to complete the picture of direction for ministry. One early connection that was too obvious to miss was with Pastor Igor Sokolov. We have much in common, philosophically, strategically, and in terms of ministry orientation, and – most importantly – we both believe we are in relationship with each other for a purpose. We met through training we were both getting to become Christan life coaches over a year ago, before I even knew we were bound for St. Petersburg. Since September we have been coaching each other into greater effectiveness in our respective callings, but those must needs overlap.
So a couple of weeks ago, Igor asked me what were some of the things I could offer their church, since we are also attending his fellowship as a family. I mentioned a class called Biblical Problem Solving and a parenting class. He asked me to present the concepts to his leadership team the next evening, and the response blew me away. They were most enthusiastic, and by the next meeting a couple of weeks later they were ready to put in on the books – for the following week!
I had taken the class from the Christian Counseling and Training Center in Richmond about ten years ago, and it had radically impacted my life, my marriage, and my counseling ministry ever since then. It had been a class I wanted to introduce to the city since before I arrived, but I did not expect it to happen so soon. My aim is to find a core leadership team that can take this class to a citywide level and reproduce leadership to expose the teachings to thousands of people within the next 10 years. The church has embraced even this goal. Now it just remains to implement it and watch God do the rest!
So when the offer came to teach the class, everything fell into place. We found a good time; we have about 15 people signed up (with less than a week’s notice); the CCTC agreed to underwrite the translation of the materials; and our apartment ended up being the best place for the class, since God has given us such a great corridor at the top of our stairway.